Quarterly Updates for (16 Feb 2018 — 15 May 2018)

Controversy dogged the UK Labour Party and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn, this quarter, leading to a diplomatic row with Israel’s Labor Party. The affair began when Corbyn, a longtime critic of the Israeli occupation, attended a Passover Seder organized by Jewdas, a self-described “radical” Jewish group. The UK press picked up the story after Jewdas’s Twitter account posted (4/3) an “Israel-Palestine prayer” read at the meal. “We take a moment to consider how shit the State of Israel is in general and particularly at this moment,” it read. In response, a number of Zionist UK Jewish groups and Labour Party officials accused Corbyn of facilitating anti-Semitism. “How can we take his stated commitment to be an ally against anti-Semitism seriously?” asked the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jonathan Arkush. Corbyn rejected their allegations, but the story stuck. On 4/10, Israel’s Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay announced that he was cutting ties with the UK Labour Party. “It is my responsibility to acknowledge the hostility you have shown to the Jewish community and the anti-Semitic statements and actions you have allowed as leader of the Labour Party UK,” he wrote in a letter to Corbyn. “You are not fulfilling your role in curbing anti-Semitism around you, and your public statements carry a load of hatred toward Israel.”